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County Signs Off on Bond Refinancing Deal

by and on July 16, 2017 5:00 AM

Centre County commissioners on July 11 signed off on a bond refinancing deal that could save about $763,000.

Commissioner Mark Higgins said the finance committee had been monitoring interest rates for the bonds for a year and a half. The committee is comprised of all three commissioners, as well as the controller and treasurer.

“As soon as it appeared we were going to save at least half a million dollars, we asked PNC to start the process,” Higgins said.

The three series would have interest rates of 2.11, 1.82 and 2.85 percent.

Centre County has a AA stable rating, one of the best in the state for counties and municipal governments below larger Philadelphia suburbs, according to David Payne, a financial adviser with PNC Capital Markets.

Now, it is up to the commissioners to tell PNC when to pull the trigger.

According to the financial reports from December 2016, the county had a total bond indebtedness of $30,793,000. Total debt service payments were $4,480,000, or 6.8 percent of the county’s total governmental expenditures.

In other business, commissioners awarded Steven R. Krieger Excavating the contract for watershed work on a bid of $187,800. The project involves seven landowners over three separate locations that were affected by torrential rains in October and qualified for national Emergency Watershed Protection funds. The work is scheduled to be wrapped up by Friday, Sept. 1.

Sharon Okeiff Fusco, of Bike MS: Keystone Country Ride, told commissioners 350 cyclists will be involved in this year’s ride from Hollidaysburg to State College on Saturday, July 22, and Sunday, July 23. Bike MS is in its 22nd year and raises about $500,000 per year.

Fusco asked that motorists be on the alert those days for cyclists and to give them a 4-foot berth.

The commissioners approved a resolution to request funding for the proposed $1.7 million bridge bundle that will look to lift three bridges out of the structurally deficient status.

The approval of the resolution allows staff to formally apply to funds from the Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Mike Bloom, transportation planner for Centre County, said they will know in the fall if they were approved for the funding and work would begin in 2018 on the three bridges in Spring Township along Lower Coleville Road, the T-489 bridge in Curtin Township and the T-526 Fox Gap Road bridge in Miles Township. The county will use $510,000 of Act 13 drilling fees to leverage for the remaining approximate $1.2 million planners hope to acquire from the Department of Economic Development Commonwealth Financing Authority.

Bloom said the municipalities communicated to him they were in favor of the projects and he has so far received two of the three letters of support.

 



This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.



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